[Taxacom] Is there any thing the Internet can't do?

Jim Croft jim.croft at gmail.com
Mon Apr 27 00:44:02 CDT 2009

See the work of Town Peterson and others. e.g.
on biodiversity and disease.
Wouldn't it be great if the technology enabled the people to track the
movement of organisms (diseases, invasive species, etc.) in +/- real
time?  It is all very easy to be cynical about the first attempt at an
interesting idea.   Of course there are shortcomings - the target
species for one.

Any species that refuses to forgo fornication when faced with biology
of HIV-AIDS and the rest of the biodiversity of pleasure, is not goign
to give up travel for something like the 'flu and the collapse of the
planet's climate system.


On Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 1:38 PM, Kenneth Kinman <kennethkinman at webtv.net> wrote:
> Hi Jim,
>      Well, being the cynic that I am, I hope that this lesson from a
> slightly virulent strain of flu might serve as a warning.  Why people in
> Spain, New Zealand, U.S.A., etc. are sending their students into a
> country like Mexico (with the present crime and drug problems) makes me
> wonder how globalization and glamorized travel commercials have affected
> their common sense.
>      Frankly in these tough economic times, people need to travel
> closer to home anyway.  And given global warming, we need to cut all
> unnecessary transportation (by planes or automobiles) as much as
> possible.  For "Earth's sake" people, stay closer to home----avoid these
> supposedly "exotic" places where you might pick up diseases, and also
> reduce pollution from long-distance travel, not to mention all the
> hassle and expense.
>      Frankly I really look forward to a day where most international
> conferences (biological, business, or otherwise) are done online.  More
> people working from their homes will also reduce pollution and traffic
> congestion.  If a really nasty 1918 type flu virus starts spreading like
> this, it will be too late for common sense to finally kick in.  The
> pandemic will already be underway and unstoppable.  Restrict unnecessary
> travel now and save yourselves from a lot of pollution, unnecessary
> cost, and the potential of spreading disease.  Merely tracking the
> results online after a pandemic has already spread, the damage will have
> already been done.  Prevention is the key, not tracking it online after
> it is too late.  Unfortunately, most humans in today's world tend to be
> reactive rather than proactive.  Then they finally react and point
> fingers after it is too late.
>      -----My two cents worth,
>                         Ken
> P.S.  Why do college students in the U.S. want to go to Mexico to get a
> sun tan and get drunk.  They could do the same thing in Texas, Florida,
> or even closer to home for a lot less money and hassle and pollution.
> What a waste of time and resources by a supposedly intelligent segment
> of our population.
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Jim Croft wrote:
> I am impressed!
> Go to sleep worrying about an alarming story of swine flu killing people
> in N America, and getting as far a New Zealand (OMG!  What if it jumps
> the species barrier again, this time to sheep?!) unbelievably quickly.
> How fast is it spreading?  Where?
> Wake up in the morning and some dude the other side of the world (thanks
> Rod) has already twittered an annotated map
> (http://bit.ly/qasp4) by some other dude the other other side of the
> world, and has built and debugged an interactive spatial time series
> visualization (http://darwin.zoology.gla.ac.uk/~rpage/flu/) using free
> on-line resources.  In less than twelve hours.
> Responsive biodiversity documentation in action.  This is the sort of
> thing a few years ago we could only dream about.
> The looming International Year of Biodiversity is going to be our time
> to strut this sort of stuff...
> jim
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Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499

"Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality."
- Joseph Conrad, author (1857-1924)

"I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said,
but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
 - attributed to Robert McCloskey, US State Department spokesman

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